"People are going to be expecting something from us. We've got the talent to give it to them."
Capital, which opened its doors as a ready-made powerhouse in 1989 as a consolidation of Charleston and Stonewall Jackson high schools, reached the Class AAA state championship game five times in its first eight seasons, winning three state titles.
It has not reached the title game since its loss to John Marshall at the Super Six in 1996.
The Cougars spent the first week of the ongoing out-of-season coaching period further developing their youth, Carpenter said.
"We had about 20 guys at the Ohio State camp last week so we worked with the younger guys more," he said. "That gave them some more time to learn the system while the older guys were out of town."
Tyrhee Pratt, a die-hard Buckeyes fan, was among the players in Columbus, Ohio, last week.
"It's been a pretty good year for him," Carpenter said of his quarterback, who also was named to the nationwide MaxPreps.com All-Freshman team after 2012.
The Cougars will play host to a small 7-on-7 passing event at 4 p.m. Thursday at University of Charleston Stadium that Carpenter said will also include teams from St. Albans and Riverside. While the passing competitions provide an opportunity for his team to gain rhythm with its quarterback, Carpenter said he tries not to put too much emphasis on interscholastic competition during the off-season.
"We go against ourselves a lot with it," Carpenter said of the 7-on-7 format. "We've got a lot of good athletes and can push each other pretty well."
Capital does not play the first week of the regular season. Instead, the Cougars will play host to Riverside in their opener on Sept. 6.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT